What is the name of your farm?Our farm is called Boundary Farm, so called because it is situated on the boundary of Uppingham town and also on the boundary of the nearby Uppingham School cricket pitch.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you have been farming?Myself and brother George are the third generation farmers at Boundary Farm after my Grandfather and Father and the farm has been here for about 100 years. We are very much a family farm which means that everybody plays an important role in maintaining the high standards that we set ourselves. At certain times of the year - such as lambing - we welcome friends and family members who look forward to coming to help with the often frantic job of looking after our flock and the many new born lambs. In 2021 we were delighted to have taken on a young apprentice called Josh who aspires to become a sheep farmer, it is extremely rewarding to help him learn and develop his skills
What would a typical day look like for you?I think it is safe to say that in farming there really is no typical day! Work is very much based around the seasons and most importantly the weather, making it very varied throughout the year. Seasonal jobs such as lambing, hay making, harvesting, drilling, shearing and so on offer great variety and make for fantastic job satisfaction. One job that remains constant throughout the year is shepherding which entails daily checks on our sheep around the fields to ensure that they are happy, safe, comfortable and most importantly stress free. We are their stewards and take great pride in ensuring that their life is a very good one.
Would you say you are traditional in your approach to farming?As a farmer it is important to always approach work with an open mind, in an ever changing climate and world it is important to embrace practises that can benefit your business and make life easier for both yourself and your flock. Many traditional approaches are tried and tested and we certainly adhere to them but if there is every an opportunity to help enhance our standards then we are certainly open to ideas!
What is your favourite time of year on the farm?There are many memorable times on the farm, from seeing the sheep jump with glee once they are shorn of their fleece to the satisfaction of successfully birthing new lambs to a proud and loving mother. I think that Spring is a very special month as we creep out of winter's grip. The sun starts to show its face and nature reacts by making everything grow. To see sheep in the green fields with lambs at foot, crops starting to grow in the field and everything looking and smelling wonderful. You can stand back and see the rewards of your hard work. It is also nice to be able to change my wellington boots for something a little more comfortable!
Can you tell me a little more about your sheep?At Boundary Farm we keep 1350 sheep. They are exclusively known as a Texel Cross. This means that they are a crossbreed between a Texel and a Mule. A Texel is a strong white faced sheep with a large frame and can be quite stubborn and greedy, they produce an amazingly dense fleece that is absolutely beautiful to touch and incredibly warm. A mule is a hardier breed which offers fantastic mothering skills and a longer fleece designed to protect them in harder climates. Our sheep are perfectly suited to the environment which we farm in which is in the beautiful rolling green countryside and valleys of Rutland.
How you feel about wool as a fibre?Wool is absolutely fantastic. It keeps our sheep warm and protected throughout the hard winter months as well as keeping cool them cool in the warmer months prior to shearing. As such it is a perfect fibre as it could not be more natural and sustainable. The fleece is often the first thing that a farmer will look at to asses the health of a sheep, it really is incredible. I feel that the throw away society that we live in today can learn many lessons from the simple woollen fleece, it is superior to anything man made by a distance and is 100% sustainable and natural. I was once told as a young boy that 'nature knows best' and this could not be more true with this adaptable and remarkable product.
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01 Mar 2022
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